What it is: The BMW i3 is a purpose-built electric car with rear-wheel drive and seating for four. Constructed of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum to save weight, the i3's electric drivetrain gives it a range of up to 114 miles or so, according to BMW. Competitors include the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen e-Golf and Chevrolet Volt.
To address the range anxiety associated with electric cars, BMW offers an available two-cylinder gas engine for the i3. The engine doesn't drive the wheels but rather charges the lithium-ion battery to extend the i3's range.
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